'Unjust' school criticism stands despite objection

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25 Jul 2012
OFSTED has refused to back down after its inspectors gave a village school the worst possible rating.

Bapchild and Tonge School was classed as "inadequate" for overall effectiveness following a two-day inspection in February.

It was said to be performing "significantly less well" than could "reasonably be expected" in a report published at the end of March.

Teaching was rated "satisfactory" but leadership and management came in for particular criticism and the school was given an official notice to improve.

Following publication of the report, head teacher Teresa Homan said the school had made an official complaint about the Ofsted process in the hope it would change its outcome.

The approach was backed by the school's governing body and Kent County Council.

But last week a KCC spokesman confirmed that Ofsted had refused to uphold the complaint.

The spokesman said: "Bapchild and Tonge Church of England Primary School submitted a complaint to Ofsted following their inspection on February 8 and 9.

Supporting

"The complaint was not upheld. In response to the Ofsted outcomes, KCC produced and sent a Statement of Action to Ofsted, detailing how it will be supporting the school to improve the outcome of their next inspection."

The complaint had been twofold, objecting to the process used by Ofsted and its interpretation of performance figures, which
the school argued were much better than reported.

Lynn Mann, who has been chairman of governors for nine years, said she was disappointed by Ofsted's decision.

"It was an unjust judgement," she said. "I have experienced three Ofsteds and this one was not a good experience.

"If you look at other local schools, we are not at the bottom, we're above halfway.

"We're due to be inspected again in the autumn and we are on course to make the improvements required.

"We are determined to move on and we will come out of this much stronger."

She added that the governors were standing by the school's present management team and that no changes had been considered.

KCC has been supporting the school with an improvement programme, which was being regularly monitored, to ensure "rapid progress".


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